Boomkat Product Review:
Cult US minimalist Alan Licht tears apart tracks from Suicide, Sonic Youth, Fred Neil, Bob Dylan, Van Halen, Palace Brothers and Pere Ubu on this bizarre and brilliant covers collection.
Best known for his incredible lists of obscure minimal gems, writer, guitarist and composer Alan Licht maps his philosophy onto some well-known classics on "Three Chords and a Sword". First up is Pere Ubu's 'Heart of Darkness', that Licht recorded back in 1996 using just a chord organ and his own voice. The original track's epochal angular jangle and signature propulsive beat are removed entirely, leaving ghostly drones and Licht's vocal interpretation. His version of Van Halen's 1984 hit 'Jump' is slightly more conventional, recorded with just an acoustic guitar last year alongside an enjoyably pared-down version of Palace Brothers' 'Stable Will'.
The album really slips into the zone with a 1988 recording of Suicide's 'Rocket USA', rendered completely using looped cable noise and tape echoed vocals. A strange chord organ cover of 'Everybody's Talkin' is also worth a look, and the album's finished off with lengthy jam '1970, featuring Chris Corsano, Matthew Heyner and Tamio Shiraishi.